Monday, December 06, 2004

Latest from David

I've had four wonderful people come forward to be
seriously considered as living donors. Unfortunately,
two had to back out - one on doctors' advice, the
other is self employed and can't afford the recovery
time from the surgery. Doctors say eight candidates
typically are presented before a suitable one is
found. I am still actively pursuing the live donor
route, but blood test results show I remain near the
cutoff point where it may be impossible to receive
half a liver from a live donor. As well as getting
into the large pool awaiting full liver transplants at
NYU, I am undergoing testing to be accepted into the
pool at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of
New Jersey in Newark. This will give me listing in two
regions, allowing me potentially to receive a liver
from as far away as West Virginia. Newark has a
smaller number of people awaiting the surgery than in
the pool at NYU. Recent doctor visits revealed I have
a high iron content in my blood, which may add to my
condition but isn't the cause of it. This condition is
believed to me Hemochromatosis - known as the Celtic
curse - as it very common in people of Irish and
Scottish heritage. It can have very serious
consequences and everyone of Celtic heritage should
read up on. See
As a result of many inquires on how people can
contribute funds to offset our costs not covered by
insurance, such as travel to New York several times a
week for doctors visits, we will be posting details
soon of the Save David Foundation. Ultimately, we hope
to be able to transfer left over funds to research
into liver disease or to others in a similar
Fortunately, I am to be at home, not in the hospital.
I've never had pain, as such, through this whole
ordeal, just abdominal discomfort. I'm on diaretics
now to help drain off fluid buildup, but I still feel
like a pregnant man with a bloated belly and severely
swollen feet and ankles.
I was able to attend Tasha's ballet recital Saturday
in which she danced to Frosty the Snowman, but haven't
been out otherwise except to go to visit doctors.
Thanksgiving was wonderful - my entire family of 14
was present, from as far away as London, England.
Despite what I'm going through now, I and my family
have so much to be thankful for. The amount of support
from our neighbors and friends have been overwhelming.
In addition to building the website and blog, many
cooked food for Thanksgiving, picked up groceries,
did laundry, raked and cleared the yard of leaves and
helped look after the kids. This has been a tremendous
help in lifting the burden from Nancy. Anonymous
friends even gave us a gift certificate for a
Christmas tree, and two neighbors, in mere hours put
down our new floor in the basement so we'd have more
available space for the kids to play with their
cousins at Thanksgiving. Churches of every
denomination in the region have offered prayers and
assistance. A friend who owns a printing company
turned over a press run to us to print flyers to help
spread the word.
Shortly after we learned that I needed a transplant, a
neighbor came to our door needing help. Despite the
need for Nancy to make numerous telephone calls
setting up appointments and waiting for calls from
doctors, she didn't hesitate in letting the woman use
our telephone. Seeing her obviously troubled, the
neighbor asked what was bothering her and after
hearing the story, she prayed with Nancy and gave a
calming hug, and left quickly after making her call. A
few days later, she returned to tell us that she now
understood the meaning of a dream she had the day she
came by the house. In that dream she was walking with
a man whose identity she didn't know. They were
heading toward an extremely rough sea. At one point
she lifted a wooden board and rescued a kitten, which
she hadn't ever seen before. The message to her in the
dream was that no matter how rough the sea got, it
wouldn't take us under. She realized upon meeting
Hippie Kitten on the day she used our phone that she
was the kitten in the dream and the man was me.
We remain optimistic and convinced that no matter how
high the seas get, they won't take us under.

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At 9:53 AM, Blogger Maureen Sullivan said...

Although law doesn't permit payment for organs, I was surprised that the potential donor mentioned in your post was unable to go forward because of lost wages. Since expenses related to a transplant are covered by the insurance company, wouldn't it be legal to cover this gentleman's lost wages?

I would be very happy to assist in a fundraising effort to raise the money to pay for his lost wages. Surely that wouldn't be put in the same category as paying for organs would it?

If anyone has access to some legal advice on this, I would love to know if this is a route that we can take - either for this potential donor or future ones.

(Hi David - hope you are doing better. We think of you everyday and mention your quest to everyone we speak to.)


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